Pasta joke…

Dolmio sauce ad follows in the footsteps of a movie classic

Writing music for TV advertising is a challenge. You have just half a minute in which to present a piece of music from beginning to end . And vital as your role is, you always have to remember that you’re there to support the advertiser’s message – and not to get in the way of its delivery.

﷯Our recent work for a Dolmio TV advert had to satisfy all of these conditions. Our brief was to create an original soundtrack for a pasta sauce advert and combine two highly contrasting musical styles in the allocated 30 seconds.

Neatly combining two national stereotypes the advert combined humour with the continuing public fascination with organised crime and the kind of joyful Italian family gathering that marked the openings of the first two Godfather films.

The original soundtracks for the first two Godfather films were composed by Nino Rota who collected an Oscar for the soundtrack of the second Godfather film, which has been voted the fifth greatest soundtrack of all time. No pressure there then…

The Dolmio scene opens with a brooding but comic tableau full of menace and highly redolent of the Mafia family ‘sit-down’ in the first Godfather movie, which really set the standard for this sort of thing. Just as things look set to get heavy between a motley collection of scarred animated heavies, with the inevitable “offer you can’t refuse” in bursts Momma with plates of steaming ragu and pasta with an abrupt switch in music to a jaunty and happy Italian folk tune.

Our mini-masterpiece was recorded live in Prague with a full-blown symphony orchestra. This might seem like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut but it allowed us to create a highly authentic live sound, Needless to say we took the opportunity of working with some top-class musicians – and to spend the evening testing out Prague’s well-earned reputation for excellent examples of the brewer’s art.


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